Filming in getting underway on the latest Luc Besson project, Malavita, featuring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Glee‘s Dianna Agron, and kid actor John D’Leo (Wanderlust). This is “only” the seventh movie directed by Besson over the past seven years, but also the fifteenth he shares writing credit on – not to mention, Besson has produced more than 40 films during that period (Taken, Transporter 3, District 13: Ultimatum, From Paris with Love, Colombiana, Lockout, Taken 2).
Besson is backing the project with his EuroCorp partner (and wife) Virginie Besson-Silla, along with Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh (3:10 to Yuma, The Fighter) and Tucker Tooley (Immortals, Act of Valor). Relativity is handling U.S. distribution and plans to unleash Malavita in theaters sometime next year.
Malavita is based on Tonino Benacquista’s book “Badfellas,” described as follows:
Under cover of darkness, an American family moves into a villa in Cholong-sur-Avre in Normandy. Fred Blake, the father, tells everyone he is there to write a history of the Allied landings. His wife Maggie gets involved in a local charity; their teenage children enrol in the lycee. At first glance a family like any other. But Fred’s real name is Giovanni Manzoni – an ex-Mafia boss who has grassed and is now part of the FBI’s witness-protection program. And his record in other locations would indicate that his cover is not likely to last very long.
De Niro is dusting off his Mobster hat as the Manzoni clan patriarch, while Michelle Pfeiffer plays his wife (who has a fondness for arson). The two, along with their children (Agron and D’Leo), discover that “old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the ‘family’ way.”
The usual suspects are collaborating again on Besson’s latest, including director of photography Thierry Arbogast (Leon: The Professional, Fifth Element), production designer Hugues Tissandier (The Transporter, Taken) and editor Julien Rey (District 13: Ultimatum, The Lady). Former Sopranos story editor Michael Caleo contributed in co-writer capacity, according to IMDb.
Besson has die-hard fans who cannot get enough of his particular approach to mixing tongue-in-cheek humor with extreme visceral thrills, so there will certainly be an audience anxious for Malavita to hit the theatrical circuit. This is also the first action flick featuring De Niro center stage to come along in a while, with recent titles such as Killer Elite and Machete (under)using the actor in limited capacity.
We’ll let you know when Malavita secures an official release date.
Source: Relativity Media